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The National Yacht Club's Finn Lynch is just two points off the overall lead of the 170-boat Laser fleet in a breakthrough performance at Mallorca’s 50th anniversary Trofeo Princesa Sofia Iberostar Regatta.

A 13 and a 5 scored today in changeable conditions by the 22-year-old Count Carlow sailor have put him back into second overall after eight races sailed. 

The result puts Lynch, a Viking Marine Ambassador, firmly into Saturday's top ten medal race final and with it the tantalising prospect of Ireland's first ever Laser medal from Palma.

Howth Yacht Club's Ewan McMahon, the U21 sailor competing in his second ever senior international regatta made the gold fleet and is placed 30th.

Finn Lynch WindwardFinn Lynch (right) in control on the approach to a Windward mark Photo: Jesus Renedo

Keeping his own focus – controlling the controllables as the coaches are fond of saying - and trying not to concern himself with the performance of his selection rivals, is clearly working for the young USA sailor Chris Barnard who stepped to the top of the giant Laser fleet today. His main selection rival is 2016 Olympian Charlie Buckingham who lies eighth after today.

“Key for me today was avoiding the bad race in these crazy conditions. It was about keeping focused and composed and I managed that.” Said Barnard, “I tried to keep going fast and avoid the big risks. Our trials for the test event are Miami and here. I have to make up ten places on Charlie. I am just focused on what I need to do. I can’t control him.”

The trials for the one GBR Laser spot have five serious contenders. At the end of today three are in the top seven, Elliot Hansen vaulting into third overall as Lorenzo Chiavarini – who started the day in second – had a bitterly painful day, scoring a 34th and then a DNF which drop him to seventh overall.

“It was a terrible day. The last race I came off the start line in decent pressure and the left side was then completely cut out of wind. Then I was in a hole for a couple of minutes. It is desperate when these are the trials.” Chiavarani explained.

Past world champion Nick Thompson of GBR won the first race and now lies fifth while young Lynch holds on to second, two points off the lead.

Full results are here Check out all our Irish Olympic sailing coverage in the build-up to Tokyo 2020 here

Published in National YC
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The National Yacht Club's Finn Lynch stays top five overall in the Laser class as the split from qualifying to finals racing arrived yesterday at the Trofeo Princesa Sofia Iberostar.  The strongest breeze of the regatta so far arrived as if on cue. The step up to gold fleet racing can be a blessing or a curse but for Lynch, who is having a stand out performance this week, it is definitely another blessing that follows on directly from a similarly stellar performance last January in Miami.

Norway’s Hermann Tomasgaard still leads the men, rallying to a ninth after 23rd place wobble in the first Finals race. Lynch had a 14th and a 23rd place which he discarded as his worst score to date.

Finn Lynch downwindFinn Lynch is in the to top five of the 170 boat Laser class in Palma Photo: Sailing Energy

Howth's Ewan McMahon Makes Gold Fleet

In another stand out performance for Ireland, Howth Yacht Club's under-21 sailor Ewan McMahon made the gold fleet cut at only his second attempt at senior level. In fact, McMahon was racing alongside Lynch at one stage before finishing in the 20s in their 60-strong gold fleet. The 2016 Laser Radial World silver medalist has embarked on his own Olympic campaign after a string of Laser successes at youth level.

Adding to the strong showing for the British team overall today, Lorenzo Chiavarini won the second contest and lies second. Racing continues today.

Full results are here Check out all our Irish Olympic sailing coverage in the build-up to Tokyo 2020 here

Published in National YC

Consistency in tricky conditions has enabled Finn Lynch to maintain his second overall in a stand out performance after four races at Palma, Mallorca’s giant Trofeo Princesa Sofia regatta. It heightens the prospect of a medal race finish – and maybe more – this Saturday for the National Yacht Club solo sailor.

"I'm delighted with a big catch up in Race 1 to finish second after rounding the first mark in 13th", the 22-year-old said, chalking up his third second of the regatta in a scoresheet with four top five results (currently discarding a fifth from race four).

Norway’s Miami winner in January Herrmann Tomasgaard leads the Laser class from Lynch and while there may be some notable absentees in the massive 170-boat entry (such as world ranked number one Sam Meech of New Zealand and Olympic champion Tom Burton of Australia) there is no doubting the significance of the Dublin Bay sailor's breakthrough in Palma. In his wake in these qualifying rounds are, for example, double world champion, Britain's Nick Thompson in 12th and in 23rd place Robert Scheidt the Brazilian sailor, who has won two gold medals, two silver medals and a bronze from five Olympic Games.

Howth's Ewan McMahon, the 2016 Laser Radial World silver medalist, now embarked on an Olympic campaign is 48th. Ballyholme's Liam Glynn is 156th in the regatta that kick starts the Olympic classes season in Europe.

Full results are here

The fleet will be split into gold, silver and bronze divisions on Thursday.

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Two seconds for a delighted Finn Lynch puts the Laser sailor second overall in the 187-boat fleet in the Princess Sofia Trophy in Palma this morning. It's an explosive start as the Dublin Bay sailor goes in search of Olympic qualification for Tokyo this season and, what's more, it follows on from impressive results obtained at the first round of the World Cup Miami in January too.

"I'm delighted with the results today and keen to push on tomorrow" Lynch declared. 

The performance was all the more impressive for the 22-year-old, who acts as a Viking Marine Ambassador, as he led for most of the opening race only to suffer a yellow flag penalty from an on-the-water race judge.

Scoreboard Finn lynchThe scoreboard of the Palma regatta represents a dream start for the National Yacht Club's Finn Lynch

A long opening day of the 50th anniversary edition of the regatta was more frustrating for the classes which were sent out to race earlier in the day, the Nacra 17, Lasers and Laser Radials racing out from Ca’n Pastilla had to contend with an unsettled, very light offshore wind before the afternoon sea breeze which took time to fill.

Howth Yacht Club's Ewan McMahon (Under 21) is 40th and Ballyholme's Liam Glynn is 130th having not competed in the first race.

Results are here. Read more about Irish hopes for Tokyo 2020 here.

Published in Viking Marine
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Rio Laser sailor Finn Lynch who is campaigning for a place in Tokyo 2020 and who is a Viking Marine Brand Ambassador has endorsed the opening of the new Irish Sailing High-Performance centre (pictured above) for the Olympic Sailing team at Dun Laoghaire. 

According to Lynch, the HQ is a 'huge milestone for Irish sailing and a legacy that came from the great results at the Rio Olympics'.

'When we stepped over the line into the HQ last week we were buying into a set of standards that we as a group of sailors had developed'. The HQ has given us all the facilities we need to succeed and now it is up to us as the sailors to make it happen. And so, 'If it is to be - it's up to me', the National Yacht Club sailor declared.

Finn lynch viking marine

Published in Viking Marine
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Tokyo 2020 trialist Finn Lynch who has returned home to Dublin just home is telling of one of the highs from his week Laser training in Palma de Mallorca.

Lynch, a Viking Marine ambassador told Afloat.ie 'When nine-time Laser world champion Robert Scheidt asks to join your training, you know you are doing something right! When my coach Vasilij Zbogar won his first medal (bronze in Athens) Scheidt won Gold. Pretty cool!'

Lynch is back on Dublin Bay for next week's opening of the Irish Sailing Performance HQ in Dun Laoghaire.

Published in Tokyo 2020
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In a busy week in Mallorca, Olympian Finn Lynch, a Brand Ambassador to Viking Marine, shares his weekly tips.

This week Lynch focuses on the merit of setting personal performance goals and the motivational advantage of some early personal wins.

'We all know my dream goal is to win an Olympic gold medal for Ireland! But having smaller process goals are a great way to keep you focussed on what you should be doing right now and not thinking too far ahead.

This winter I wanted to improve my fitness and strong wind sailing. Yesterday on our Irish Sailing Group bike ride I hit a personal goal that I know puts me right up there within the laser fleet in bike fitness!  Happy days!

Finn lynch cycling

Published in Viking Marine
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“I have some hefty goals for 2019 and being top 10 in the Miami World Cup was my first goal of the year,” says Viking Marine’s new brand ambassador Finn Lynch.

“I’m delighted to say that I can confirm that training does pay off!”

The Laser contender for a spot in Tokyo 2020 has a mentally taxing week in Florida last month, but all was worth it to become the first men’s Laser sailor to qualify for a World Cup medal race.

That alone would have been something to celebrate, if not for Finn pulling out all the stops in that final race to make the top 10.

“Who would have thought it? Miami was a breakthrough regatta in that I bridged the gap from my World Cup performances last year,” he says.

“My previous best regattas were 16 and 17 in a World Cup. After training very hard all winter, I managed to jump to top 10. Now let’s try to keep form until Palma in April — my next big regatta.”

And that is precisely what he’s been doing. More recently, and across the Atlantic, Finn followed up his superlative performance in Miami with fourth place overall at round 2 of the Villamoura Coach Regatta in Portugal.

This past week he resumed training in Dublin with just a few weeks to go before the opening of the Laser team’s purpose-built Irish Sailing performance HQ in Dun Laoghaire.

Published in ISA
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After a mentally testing week in Florida, Ireland's Finn Lynch becomes Ireland's first men's Laser sailor to ever qualify for a World Cup medal race. The race is broadcast live below from Miami at 3 30 pm (or Irish time 20.30).

Lynch looked like he could have blown his chances when he was black flagged yesterday in the penultimate race but an eighth in the final race left him tenth overall to take the last medal race place.

"I'm incredibly proud to be the first Irish man to make a Laser Medal Race in a World Cup Series!" he told Afloat.ie 

Lynch's achievement in making the medal race is all the more impressive given the Rio rep has been nursing a neck injury.

Tune in at 20.30 below to watch the race live as per schedule (but please note light winds have caused postponements on Biscayne Bay).  UPDATE: To replay the race scroll to 3:21:57 on the timeline below

Go Finn!

Published in National YC
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Ireland's top Laser sailor Finn Lynch bounced back into medal race contention at the Miami World Sailing Cup and lies eighth overall after nine races sailed.

After a tough day on Thursday, as reported by Lynch on Afloat.ie here, the National Yacht Club single hander turned his fortunes around by scoring a sixth and an eighth on Friday.

"I'm really happy I managed to battle back after a bad day yesterday. I had a really good grasp of the conditions. There were much more chances because the wind was oscillating more and it was less of a one way track!", Lynch told Afloat.ie

The result is all the more impressive given the Rio Olympian went into this week's regatta nursing a neck injury.

With two more days of racing left to sail in what is forecast to be more light and shifty conditions on Biscayne Bay, Lynch, who now counts four top ten results in his scoresheet has the chance to really boost his Tokyo qualification prospects with a solid result in the second round of the World Cup. 

"There is no point looking backwards to try hold my position"

"I haven't been top 10 going into the last day of a World Cup before. Which is great! I'm going to try take a page out of Irish Rugby's book and try use attack as defence. There is no point looking backwards to try hold my position", Lynch says.

Ballyholme's Liam Glynn lies 40th in the 101-boat fleet. Overall results are here.

A key component of Laser overall leader Hermann Tomasgaard's (NOR) preparation for the 2019 Hempel World Cup Series Miami involved a week at the Laser Training Center in Cabarete, Dominican Republic. Aside from the obvious-tropical mid-winter weather-Tomasgaard went there for the consistently strong winds.

"We had a good group with the British and the Swedish and a lot of hiking, a lot of strong winds," he said. "That's maybe the problem you can have in Europe this time of year, you can have a lot of light winds, You get some strong-wind days, but never really for one and a half weeks."

This regatta, however, has been anything but windy, with just one race that tested the sailors' abdominal muscles. Nonetheless, Tomasgaard clearly found something in the azure Caribbean waters because he has been phenomenally fast and unbelievably consistent in some of the most mentally demanding conditions in a fleet where top-half finishes in the gold fleet are often considered keepers.

With two full-fleet races remaining and then Sunday's Medal Race, Tomasgaard has established a 44-point lead over second place. His worst finish is a sixth. One decent race tomorrow and he will have clinched the gold with two races to spare, a virtually unheard-of feat in the modern Medal-Race format.

"It's been very good," he said. "Sailing is a little up and down all the time, and this week I've had quite a lot of up. I'm just enjoying it right now. I've had moments [like this before], but maybe not for as long as now. Now it's been every race. It's been good."

The conditions today were similar to the previous three days, light and shifty.

"It was difficult, very, very shifty," he said. "Big shifts from both sides. Quite light and big pressure differences as well with the shifts. [Success required managing a] little bit of both. We had a left pressure that was really stationary, that you really had to go into. It was in all the upwinds, almost, that you gained a little bit on that left shift, but it was difficult to know how far into it you had to go."

He also credited a lot of his success to his ability to get off the starting line cleanly.

"I've had good starts, really good starts and I've tried to keep an open mind," he said. "I tried to start where I think it's going to be the best and keep an open mind and change my plan if I see something new coming."

Should his final few races follow this pattern, Tomasgaard will have put together one of the more remarkable scorelines in recent memory. With 18 months until the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, is he peaking too early? Tomasgaard doesn't see it that way.

"I've been climbing the last few years in the results, and it's nice to see that the winter trainings are working well," he said. "So I kind of take that, like 'OK, we're on the right track.' Still, it's early in the season, and a lot can change from Miami."

Sam Meech (NZL) is second in the class with 65 points while Rio 2016 gold medalist Tom Burton (AUS) is third and Charlie Buckingham (USA) is fourth.

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William M Nixon has been writing about sailing in Ireland and internationally for many years, with his work appearing in leading sailing publications on both sides of the Atlantic. He has been a regular sailing columnist for four decades with national newspapers in Dublin, and has had several sailing books published in Ireland, the UK, and the US. An active sailor, he has owned a number of boats ranging from a Mirror dinghy to a Contessa 35 cruiser-racer, and has been directly involved in building and campaigning two offshore racers. His cruising experience ranges from Iceland to Spain as well as the Caribbean and the Mediterranean, and he has raced three times in both the Fastnet and Round Ireland Races, in addition to sailing on two round Ireland records. A member for ten years of the Council of the Irish Yachting Association (now the Irish Sailing Association), he has been writing for, and at times editing, Ireland's national sailing magazine since its earliest version more than forty years ago

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